Carrot halwa, or gajjar halwa or gajrela as it is popularly called in Punjabi is a North Indian sweet made especially during winters. This dessert is a must have at most weddings and functions and is often served with a dollop of ice cream on the side.
Red carrots – 1 kg
Full fat milk – 2 litres
Sugar – 150 gms
Ghee – 150 gms
Raisins – ½ bowl
Almonds – ½; soaked overnight
Cashew – ½ bowl; chopped fine
Walnuts – ½ bowl; shelled and chopped
Silver leaves – 2-3 pcs
- Peel the almonds and cut into thin slivers. Keep aside
- Soak the raisins in warm water for a while, then take out and keep aside.
- Grate the carrots to medium thickness. If grated too thin, the halwa will become mushy, and if too thick, the pieces will stand out.
- Bring the milk to boil in a large heavy bottomed pan.
- Add the grated carrots and keep stirring on low flame at regular intervals till the milk almost dries up.
- Add the ghee and cook for a while.
- Add the sugar and keep stirring continuously till the ghee separates.
- Add the raisins, almonds, cashew and walnuts leaving aside some for the garnish.
- Garnish with the rest of the dry fruits and silver leaves. Serve hot.
Make sure you use only tender and juicy red carrots that are available during winters. Although making this halwa requires a lot of muscle work, the end result would be worth the effort. You can also freeze the halwa for up to a month in the freezer. Thaw before using and warm in a microwave. Do share with us your experience when making this specialty in the comments box below.